EGYPT archaeologists are currently probing a “very strange animal,” which might be “a lion or lioness,” Minister of Antiquities Dr Khaled El-Enany told us in an exclusive interview.
Egypt minister says ‘very strange’ animal has been discovered
The ancient Egyptians held cats in the highest esteem, with penalties for injuring or killing the feline animals and around 3,000BC, they worshipped a Cat Goddess, often represented as half feline, half woman, whom they called Bastet. The most famous of these mythical creatures is the Great Sphinx of Giza – this limestone statue, with the body of a lion and head of a human, can be found on the Giza Plateau protecting the pharaoh Khufu in his colossal pyramid behind. However, it may have been more than just an ancient ruler’s mind running wild after revolutionary technology was used on a bombshell find, Dr El-Enany told us.
He said: “We are, with our partners from Egypt abroad, opening our doors, land and ancient sites to use more modern technology.
“Yes we have the tomb of Tutankhamun and the Pyramid of Giza, but we have other projects elsewhere using the most advanced technology either for university work or inside the museum.“The Grand Egyptian Museum is using the most advanced technology in the world.
“The study of the mummies and the mystery to know more is always exciting.”
Could the mysterious cat be a Sphinx?
Cats were placed in the highest consideration by ancient Egyptians.
It is a very strange animal, like a big cat
Dr Khaled El-Enany
The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), also known as the Giza Museum, will become the largest archaeological museum in the world when it opens next year and Dr El-Enany revealed how the new discovery could become the central attraction.
He added: “We will announce a discovery in November after using the CT scan and DNA test for the study of an animal that we found.
“It is a very strange animal, like a big cat, so we are now working on it.
“Maybe it will be a lion or a lioness, but we are studying it now and will announce the find in a few weeks.”
Dr El-Enany’s lips were sealed in giving any more details, but he did say archaeologists are still making new discoveries daily.
The Sphinx is the most well-known.
He continued: “We don’t know exactly how much of ancient Egypt is still under sand.
“We discover something new every day because all over the Nile valley you find objects.
“Each month we announce a big discovery, we have now 300 missions working in Egypt and 250 are foreign missions.
“We are finding things every day and big discoveries are always exciting.”
Dr El-Enany was speaking following the opening of the new exhibition in London
He said the new Egyptian museum will hold many treasures
Dr El-Enany was speaking following the opening of the new exhibition in London: “Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh.”
More than 150 artefacts have travelled from Egypt to the Saatchi Gallery and will be on display now until May 3, 2020.
For the first time ever, 60 items have left the country, before they return to their permanent home in the new Grand Egyptian Museum next year.
Recently closed in Paris, the exhibition became France’s most visited of all time with an attendance of over 1.4 million.
Ancient Egypt mapped.
He said: “It’s a very exciting thing to be able to tour the world with King Tutankhamun.
“But it’s also a huge responsibility, we are travelling with 150 masterpieces from the tomb of Tutankhamun.
“So we are working according to well-placed plans for the transportation, the packing of the artefacts, the installation of the artefacts, and we do have a well-trained team to do the job for the King.”